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Glucosamine And Diabetes

Many questions have risen in recent years regarding glucosamine and diabetes. There has been concern that glucosamine, particularly glucosamine sulfate, may increase the blood sugar or disrupt the ability of the body to regular blood sugar, which may cause problems for people that have diabetes. Some doctors and researchers have concerns that glucosamine and diabetes do not mix.

Others suggested that glucosamine may affect the efficacy of certain diabetes medications. New research shows that glucosamine and diabetes have little interaction. In fact research suggests that glucosamine and diabetes and probably not related, although it may be wise to take precautions if you have diabetes and plan to supplement with glucosamine.
Studies suggest that glucosamine probably does not increase blood sugar in individuals that have diabetes. This suggests that glucosamine will not interfere with blood sugar medications.

Examples of medications used to control diabetes and regulate blood sugar may include:

  • Glynase Pres Tab
  • Glyburide
  • Insulin
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Avania
  • Chlorpropamide
  • Glipizide (Glucotrol)
  • Tolbutamide (Orinase)
  • Glimepiride (Amaryl)

Glucosamine And Arthritis

Glucosamine sulfate most often comes from the shells of certain shellfish. It is a naturally occurring substance that works by helping to restore the mobility of joints and by relieving pain associated with chronic arthritis. It naturally occurs in the fluid (synovial fluid) surrounding connective tissues and joints. It is most effective for treating osteoarthritis in the knee, but may be helpful for other chronic inflammatory conditions including colitis, TMJ or temporomandibular arthritis, and glaucoma. Some researchers have looked into treating weight loss with glucosamine, but the link here is relatively weak.

Glucosamine sulfate helps build tendons, cartilage and helps strengthen ligaments. Many researchers believe the sulfate in glucosamine is the key to restoring the connective tissues and ligaments.

Glucosamine and Diabetes Dosing

Still other researchers believe that glucosamine and diabetes may be linked by dosing. The average recommended dosing is 1,500 milligrams. Some individuals have experienced adverse effects by increasing their dosage in an effort to realize rapid results. This generally is not recommended. Doses of 1,200 may be high enough to create results in patients with diabetes.

Patients with glucose intolerance and diabetes may do better to take the smaller dose of 1,200 until further research is conducted into the effects of glucosamine and diabetes.

References:
Marshall PD; Poddar S; Tweed EM; Brandes L. 2006 Dec. Clinical inquiries: Do glucosamine and chondroitin worsen blood sugar control in diabetes? J Fam Practice. 55(12): 1091-3. PubMed. Available: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17137550
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